Page 57 of The Dancer

Standing in the middle of the living room, he looked from me to his sister and back with a questioning look. It was obvious from the look on his face that he didn’t like this place any more than I did. That could work in my favor.

“Annabelle, go pack your stuff.”

“Huh? What stuff?”

“Whatever you need. I’m taking you out of here. Travis can come with us.”

“What are you talking about?”

“I told you, I don’t like this place it’s not safe.”

“He has a point sis. Even I can tell that this place is all wrong.” Way to go kid!

“You stay out of it.” He held up his hands and backed away from her with an eye roll sent in my direction.

“Fine, if there’s nothing here you need we can just go.” I reached for her hand but she evaded me. “I’m not going anywhere what’s wrong with you?”

I wasn’t falling into that trap again. She’d have me arguing in circles if I stepped into that one. I used a different tack this time, going around her instead.

“Travis have you eaten?” He shook his head no at me. She looked like she wanted to strangle him. It was good to know that I’m not the only one at the wrong end of her wrath.

“Come on, I was going to take your sister out for a late lunch, you can join us if you’d like.” I knew what his answer would be before I asked and was proved right when he headed back for the door.

“Sweet, maybe you can give me some pointers huh!” Typical kid. Annabelle looked at him like he’d betrayed her. “We don’t need to go to lunch, I was going to make something here. Thanks anyway.”

“Aw come on sis, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.” He held the door open and I knew I had her when the look of indecision on her face warred with sisterly love.

“Fine, but we’re coming right back here when we’re done.” That’s what she thinks. From the way the boy quirked his brow at me it was obvious he thought different. He had more sense than his damn infuriating sister.

“Travis, leave your bag you’re not going to need it.” He looked from her to me again at her suggestion. All it took was a slight shake of my head for him to get the message.

“Ah, I have some stuff in here that I might need. I don’t want to go through it right now. Come on sis I’m starving.” He rubbed his gut with a sorry look on his face.

“You are? Why didn’t you say something before?” She met him at the door and patted his shoulder before looking back at me. “Well, what are you waiting for?”

Pain in the ass! I was the last one out the door and I fixed the lock so it wouldn’t close. Once downstairs I helped her into the backseat while letting Travis take the front next to Tony.

I gave him the name of one of my favorite restaurants in the city. The kid kept up a running conversation, this time about the car. The two siblings were like night and day, since I couldn’t get a peep out of this one.

She sat as far away from me as was possible, holding on to her gripe. From the way she was tapping her foot and biting into her lip I knew she was telling me off in her mind. Probably just waiting for the chance to light into me once we were alone.

When we reached the restaurant I helped her out of the car and got my phone out. I sent Tony a quick text, which he read right away. I looked at him through the car window as he shook his head before driving away.

Inside the restaurant she was back to being fidgety, but her brother’s presence seemed to put her more at ease. I sat next to her in the booth while he took the seat across from us.

I could see from the way he watched us that he had read the situation well enough. I couldn’t tell from his expression whether he approved or not, but time will tell. I already had him half in the bag though, I was sure.

“Order whatever you like Travis.” I’d seen his reaction to the prices on the menu. I was pointedly ignoring his sister who still had her face set in a frown. I had no doubt that she’d protest because of the prices, but I forgot about her and food. She doesn’t play around when it comes to food.

After we placed our orders she excused herself to go to the restroom and I saw my chance. I waited until she was well out of earshot to get started on him. “So Travis, are you just here for the weekend?”